Final study released on port that would export Montana, Wyoming coal
LONGVIEW, Wash. – Today, the Washington State Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County released the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview, Washington, the last remaining coal export terminal proposed in the Pacific Northwest. State agencies and Cowlitz County will use the FEIS to decide whether to issue or deny permits to Millennium.
A summary of key findings from the FEIS is available here.
The study finds: “Unavoidable and significant adverse environmental impacts could remain for nine environmental resource areas: social and community resources; cultural resources; tribal resources; rail transportation; rail safety; vehicle transportation; vessel transportation; noise and vibration; and air quality.”
In response, Mark Fix, a member spokesperson for Northern Plains Resource Council who ranches and irrigates along the Tongue River outside of Miles City was encouraged by the findings:
“It’s great to see that the State of Washington has found what we all know — that a coal port in Longview would have significant negative consequences from that community all the way back through Montana. These finding are an important step in protecting the clean water I need as a rancher in southeast Montana. Coal mining, transport, and burning threatens the streams, rivers, and aquifers we ranchers in southeast Montana depend on for our livelihoods,” said Mark Fix.
“This is also good news for communities along the rail line, from Montana and Wyoming coalfields all the way to Washington’s coast. Dramatic increases in coal train traffic through our communities would mean increased air pollution, more blocked railroad crossings, and a heightened risk for derailments, not to mention lower property values along the railroad tracks. It’s time for the State of Washington to deny the coal port’s permit.”
“Doctors, parents, farmers, business owners, and many others have spoken out in unprecedented force against Millennium’s dirty coal export project. This environmental review validates many of their concerns about how coal export will harm our climate, health, and Columbia River. Now we look to state leaders to stand up to the coal industry and deny all permits for Millennium,” said Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Co-director, Power Past Coal coalition.
–Western Organization of Resource Councils